It’s become clear after what seems like a thousand emails and messages that many readers not only disagree with what I wrote about Gophers coach Jerry Kill, they believe I was insensitive to his condition and to other people with disabilities.
Believe me, that is not my view, and that was not my intent. Because so many of the responses were intelligent pleas to reconsider my tone, I feel the need at this point to try this again.
My opinion on the matter remains the same. Coaching big-time college football is a highly visible, competitive and stressful job. I don’t believe the head coach who is the face of such an enterprise can handle the duties while frequently suffering public seizures.
What I have gathered from readers is that they believe I poked fun at Jerry, or demeaned his condition.
I certainly wouldn’t do that intentionally and I regret that my tone in the column struck some readers that way.
I like Jerry and think highly of him as a coach. I would love to see him remain healthy. I admire his gumption.
I’m accustomed to receiving criticism for nearly everything I write. As a sports columnist, every opinion draws a backlash. What is happening now is different because I’m receiving criticism from people who believe that I insulted Kill or people who share his condition.
That certainly was not my intent.